2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Hyperspace junkies need their fix,
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This review is from: Engineman (Paperback)
This is a novel and a collection of about 8 or so short stories all set in the same continuity. The short stories comprose about one third of the book.
The book serves to address and unite all the ideas that Eric explored in his 'Engineman' universe.
'Enginemen' are ex-spacers addicted to the Nada-continuum , but denied access since the closure of all space traffic in favor of more efficient portal technology. The fringe worlds are ruled by a brutal consortium controlling commerce and travel through access to the portals. Aliens are exterminated and humans supresssed. Enginemen will do anything to gain access to the nada continum. Something has to give.
My problem with the book is that it reads like 50's pulp. Ive read a fair bit of Eric brown this year and its all been very average stuff. The short stories are the best things Ive read that he has written. They are quick insightful social pieces that dont require any hard science and rely on characterisation rather than tight plotting. He is good at this. This book falls down in that it mixes mysticism , religion and SF and cant quite decide what it wants to be. Its certainly not the Hard SF that a lot of people promote it as.
For a multithreaded storyline its very badly put together. One of the main characters storylines is completely unneccessary to the plot. Apart from the two main characters and one supporting character there is no attempt to humanise any of the many others who appear in the book.
His style is better suited to social fiction like Necropath, rather than big concept pieces like this and Helix.